vo B. POLEVOI that the one in black had murdered the wounded, and the Soviet Army man, who had been still alive, had rushed upon the murderer at the very moment that he was stabbing the nurse and had clutched the enemy by his throat with all the remaining strength in his And' so the blizzard had buried them all—the frail girl in the fur cap sheltering the wounded man with her body, and these two, the murderer and the avenger, holding each other by the throat, lying at her feet, which were encased in old army top-boots with broad leggings. Alexei stood there transfixed for several moments, then hobbled towards the nurse and pulled the dagger out of her back. It proved to be an SS dirk, fashioned like an ancient German sword, with a silver SS emblem on the mahogany hilt. On the rusty blade the inscription: "Alles fiir Deutschland" could still be discerned. Alexei removed the leather scabbard of the dirk from the German's body; he would need the weapon on his journey. Then he dug the hard, frozen ground sheet out from under the snow, tenderly covered the nurse's body with it and laid a few pine branches upon it.... By that time, dusk set in. The strips of light between the trees died out. Dense and frosty darkness enveloped the hollow. It was quiet here, but the evening wind swept through the tree tops and the forest sang, at one moment a soothing lullaby, at another a melody of anxiety and alarm. The fine dry snow, no longer visible to the eye, but swishing softly and pricking the face, was blown into the hollow. Born in Kamyshin, in the Volga steppe, a town-dweller, inexperienced in woodcraft, Alexei had not taken the trouble to prepare for the night, or to light a fire. Over- taken by the intense darkness and conscious of excruciat- ing pain in his fractured and weary feet, he had not the strength to collect firewood; he crawled into the thick undergrowth of a young pine, sat down under the tree, hunched his shoulders, rested his head upon his knees which he clasped in his arms and, warming himself with his own breath, sat quite still, enjoying the quiet and repose.